07 Feb Local dogs documentary shows Border Collies ‘To the Border Bred’
Our local breed of dog Border Collies have been called the most intelligent of all domestic dogs.* Bred as a working and herding dog, obedience alongside intelligence are key traits. Now, the history and life of the Border Collie is documented in an hour long film by Northumberland’s Shadowcat Films.
Set in the beautiful scenery of Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, ‘To the Border Bred’ features local stories exploring the world of the Border Collie as told by those who work with them every day. The film covers a wide gamut of Border Collie life from a newborn litter of puppies, training of a working Border Collie through to a tale of a heroic World War Two rescue. The latter led to Sheila the Sheepdog being awarded the Dickin Medal for Gallantry, after helping crashed airmen from a Flying Fortress near Braydon Crags on the Cheviot. This is a remote part of the hills and not easily reached being 700m above sea level and more than three miles from the nearest public road at Cocklawfoot.
Contributors to the DVD include the well-known trials competitor Emma Gray. Emma is the first female winner of the Northumberland Sheepdog Trials League, and will be familiar to many viewers from ‘Tales from Northumberland’ and remote farm near Harwood, a National Trust property with no mains electricity, water or phone line. You can read more her life there in One Girl And Her Dogs: Life, Love and Lambing in the Middle of Nowhere.
‘To the Border Bred’ also features trainer and author Tony Iley, the Border Collie Rescue UK, and SARDA the Search and rescue dog association. Featuring many local voices from the Scottish Borders and Northumberland, the film showcases many aspects of the lives of a Border Collie including a newborn litter of puppies and the ongoing training of a working Border Collie.
International Sheep Dog Society Magazine said of the film, “This is a real addition to the library of all those who love, admire, and work with the border collie… It is heart warming to hear the true affection and real esteem in which these dogs are held”.
The DVD not only explores the bond between man and dog, but features some stunning Borders scenery in the process. It is a diverse and colourful exploration of the Border Collie through the words of those who know them best.
Buy the DVD
You can get a taste from this extract from another Shadowcat production, ‘Yetholm, the Finest Place’.
In this earlier flim, two shepherds from the Halterburn and Bowmont Valleys near Yetholm talk about Border Collies and how they work together.
* Border Collies – the most intelligent of all domestic dog, reference: The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions